Tamil Nadu Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ma Subramanian on Saturday said the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron have the ability to spread faster and it was important to exercise caution, in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases in the state.
The Minister, after visiting the patients, who are under home isolation in Navalur, Hiranandani apartments in Chengalpet district stressed the need to wear a face mask in public and adhere to COVID-19 protocols.
"People who are yet to receive the first vaccination dose and those eligible to receive the second jab should visit the primary health care centers, and district hospitals to receive the shots since vaccination is our only weapon," he told reporters here.
Noting that the coronavirus infections have been rising by the day in the state, he said as of Friday 1,359 infections were added with 5,912 active cases overall.
He advised patients under home quarantine against venturing out until they test negative for the virus.
"And those workers who are involved in day-to-day affairs at residential gated communities should undergo RTPCR tests", Subramanian said after visiting the families.
He said 92 percent of the 5,912 active cases were under home isolation while eight percent were under treatment at government and private health care facilities.
"Such patients did not require oxygen support or critical care. They are getting treated for symptoms such as throat pain, fever, and cold. However, since the Omicron variants- BA4 and BA5-- have the ability to spread faster, it is necessary to wear a facial mask while in public to protect themselves and follow all COVID-19 protocols," Subramanian said.
He further said the health department would hold a mass vaccination exercise on July 10 and appealed to the public to receive jabs without any 'hesitancy'.
"This virus after affecting an individual spreads to other family members and then neighbors. Therefore it is requested that those individuals should come forward and take the vaccination shots", he said.